‘Swann has prepared the way for a profits recovery of Lazarus proportions by loading as much junk as she can find into today’s accounts,’ commented The Times (14 October), while The Guardian observed Swann’s ‘thorough hand-bagging’ (15 October) of Richard Handover, as she emphasised that she had inherited ‘a mess… I had expected it to be better run’.
Yet the grim reality of the former high-street stalwart escaped no one. Squeezed by supermarkets and the internet, many retailers are struggling to justify their identity and raison d’etre: ‘[WH Smith’s] format has outlived its purpose… only shock treatment and a radical makeover can save it from a slide into retail oblivion,’ noted thisislondon (14 October), a view echoed widely elsewhere.
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk